Wadi Qelt

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Rappelling in Wadi Qelt
Nahal Prat stream

Wadi Qelt (Arabic: وادي القلط‎; also: Wadi al-Qult, Wadi el-Qult, Wadi Kelt, Wadi Qilt or Wadi Qult) also Nahal Prat (Hebrew: נחל פרת‎) is a valley ("wadi"; Arabic: واديwādī) or stream ("nahal"; Hebrew: נחל‎) running west to east across the Judaean Desert in the West Bank, originating near Jerusalem and terminating near Jericho, near the Dead Sea.

Wadi Qelt is home to a unique variety of flora and fauna. St. George's Monastery and one of the oldest synagogue in the world, Shalom Al Yisrael Synagogue, are located in Wadi Qelt, which has been identified with the biblical "Perath" mentioned in Jeremiah 13:5.[1]


Ancient history[edit]

Wadi Qelt contains monasteries and old Christian locations. Several aqueducts have been found along the stream, the oldest dating to the Hasmonean period (2nd century BC).[2] The Wadi Qelt Synagogue, built as part of a Hasmonean royal winter palace, is believed to be one of the oldest synagogues in the world.[3][4] The site was home to the winter palaces of Hasmonean kings and Herod the Great.[5] The area was occupied by Israel in 1967, and hence parts of the wadi were declared a nature reserve, the Nahal Prat Nature Reserve.[6]

Qubur Bani Isra'in are huge stone structures which rise from a rocky plateau overlooking Wadi Qelt.[7]

Modern times[edit]

On December 20, 1968, Israeli lieutenant-Colonel Zvi Ofer (Tzvika Ofer), commander of the elite Haruv unit, former Military Governor of Nablus and recipient of the Israeli medal of valour, was killed in action in Wadi Qelt while pursuing Arab militants who had crossed the Jordan.[8]

Wadi Qelt was the site of several Palestinian terror attacks on Israeli hikers following the 1993 Declaration of Principles peace agreement between Israel and the PLO. Dror Forer and Eran Bachar were shot to death on October 9, 1993, Ori Shahor and Ohad Bachrach were shot and killed on July 18, 1995, and Hagit Zavitzky and Liat Kastiel were stabbed and killed on April 25, 1997.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Wadi Qilt". bibleplaces.com. 
  2. ^ "En Prat Nature Reserve". allaboutjerusalem.com. 
  3. ^ Oldest Synagogue Found in Israel, March 29, 1998. Associated Press
  4. ^ Israel's Oldest Synagogue, Archaeology, Volume 51 Number 4, July/August 1998, Spencer P.M. Harrington
  5. ^ "Jericho - The Winter Palace of King Herod - Jewish Virtual Library". jewishvirtuallibrary.org. 
  6. ^ "En Prat Nature Reserve". allaboutjerusalem.com. 
  7. ^ "The Tombs of the Children of Israel". goisrael.com. 
  8. ^ Teveth, Shabtai (1969/1970) The Cursed Blessing. The story of Israel's occupation of the West Bank. Weidenfield & Nicolson. SBN 297 00150 7. Translated from Hebrew by Myra Bank. Page 347.
  9. ^ "Comprehensive Listing of Terrorism Victims in Israel - Jewish Virtual Library". jewishvirtuallibrary.org. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Wadi Qelt at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 31°50′40″N 35°24′51″E / 31.844316°N 35.414257°E / 31.844316; 35.414257 (Wadi Qelt)